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Old 12-30-2012, 03:49 PM   #1
Doadman
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My son took to playing the bass just over a year ago having given up on guitar and to my surprise, he's stuck with it and really loves playing it. He has an Ibanez GSR200 at the moment but I thought I might buy him something a bit better for his 18th birthday. In an ideal world I'd like to keep it under 500 or at least close to that. Personally I'm a guitarist so I know little of bass guitars, hence my need for help. All I can tell you is that his favourite bass players are Phil Lynott followed by Steve Harris and to that end, he's already changed his strings to Rotosound flatwounds so I suppose the obvious choice for a new bass would be some kind of Fender Precision or maybe a Fender Jazz. Frankly, I have no idea what the difference is between those two but I do know that the 'Standard' model is about at my budget. Would this be a good choice or would I be better looking at something else for that kind of cash? I don't mind going used if it's in mint condition and it doesn't have to be a Fender. I only mentioned the Fenders because I know that's what his favourite bass players use. Any help at all would be gratefully received.

Thanks
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:57 PM   #2
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Well, both of those players you named are big precision bass users... so a P-bass might be your first port of call. Interestingly they both use(d) mirror scratchplates, might be a nice touch to personalise it if you can find one. I'd recommend looking used at Japanese precisions, American precisions (if you can stretch the budget a touch) or reissue Mexican precisions... the Mexican standard basses you mentioned are hit and miss in terms of quality.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help. I've taken a look at the GAK website (http://www.gak.co.uk/en/fender-4-string-bass-guitars) but I have no idea what to look for either there or on Ebay for a used Japanese Precision unless I just put 'Japanese' in the Ebay search. I assume anyone with an American Precision will be mentioning it anyway I take it I'm looking at either the Deluxe or Classic series.

I love the idea of getting a mirrored scratchplate for it
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:18 PM   #4
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You're welcome! It will usually be mentioned in the item description where the instrument was made. The confusing bit is that the Mexican standards are simply referred to as "Standard" series... USA made Fenders are referred to as "American Standards". As you're in England I'd recommend checking out www.basschat.co.uk... you can get some good deals there, as the sales are done privately rather than through eBay the prices are more generous. If you're a bit careful about who you deal with (probably avoid newly registered users from Romania or whatever) you'll be better off doing it there. I've made a lot of good transactions there and never had any problems.

A quick search revealed a couple of good deals:

Mexican Roadworn Fender Precision

Japanese 70's reissue Fender Precision

Japenese 57 reissue Fender Precision

I'm sure you'll find loads more if you look a bit further too. The 70's japanese one looks particularly nice (I'm tempted to find the cash to buy that myself! Shame I've just had to let one go to keep my funds up).

Couple of points: the 57 necks are particularly thick so watch out for those if your son has small hands/prefers a slim neck.

Also, if you do decide to replace the scratchplate, remember that a Japanese model has different dimensions for the screw holes to an American or Mexican, as far as I remember.

Good luck!
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:47 PM   #5
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since he is a ibanez SR user you might want to check "Ibanez Sr 500" which should be in your budget and many people, in my humble opinion, can say Sr500 is better than its Fender counterparts

+ changing from Sr neck to P-bass neck will be huge.. i not even got used to Jazz bass after a Sr
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaca11
since he is a ibanez SR user you might want to check "Ibanez Sr 500" which should be in your budget and many people, in my humble opinion, can say Sr500 is better than its Fender counterparts

+ changing from Sr neck to P-bass neck will be huge.. i not even got used to Jazz bass after a Sr


That being the case, it may be a good idea to buy from a store with a return policy. The switch from SR to P is a big one. A Pbass is a very comfortable bass to play, but there is still a chance to he may not like the feel.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:23 PM   #7
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And how about Peavey basses? not sure in this price range, brand new, but i had a second hand Peavey Foundation and it was amazing


Ps: sorry for confusing you with so many different ideas. Yet think about Sr vs P-bass. I love that neck and pickups of İbanez but Fender always got a different place in bassist's heart
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:25 PM   #8
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Good points. At the moment I think he's rather fixating on needing a Precision in order to get that Phil Lynott and Steve Harris sound. I'm not sure he fully appreciates that the amp will play a large part of that so he could still get that kind of tone even with an Ibanez bass. Ultimately he'll need to try the Fender and see what he thinks but it has to be said that the Ibanez SR range looks like a lot of bass for the money. Even the SR700 isn't out of the question. This may boil down to how much he sees things like me. As a guitarist, I love the sound of a Les Paul but I'd never buy one as I think they're too expensive and too uncomfortable to play. I also love the sound of a Stratocaster but again, I'd never actually buy one myself as I prefer designs that have moved on. I play PRS and Jackson while my favourite players use Les Pauls and Stratocasters but that has no impact on me at all. We'll see how my son sees it
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaca11
since he is a ibanez SR user you might want to check "Ibanez Sr 500" which should be in your budget and many people, in my humble opinion, can say Sr500 is better than its Fender counterparts


That's really entirely subjective and I challenge anyone to find an example of an Ibanez SR 500 matching a Precision bass in a mix. There's countless brands that people love to use because they sound good by themselves, but there's a certain "rightness" to a Fender in a mix - probably why the vast majority of any worthwhile professional players out there use Fenders, or at least have used them at some point in their career.
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